BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Sleiman signs decree to delay polls to June 16: sources

President Michel Sleiman attends a Cabinet session at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman signed Saturday a decree that would delay parliamentary elections by a period of one week, Baabda Palace sources told The Daily Star.

Sleiman’s move comes a day after Interior Minister Marwan Charbel submitted a draft decree to the Cabinet’s Secretariat seeking a delay of the elections from June 9 to June 16.

In March, Sleiman and caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati signed a decree calling for holding the elections on June 9 based on the law in effect, otherwise known as the “1960 law.”

Delaying the date of the elections ultimately extends the deadline for filing applications by a period of one week. The deadline for submissions had been April 11.

Only about two dozen people have registered to run in the elections as a result of opposition from both the March 8 and March 14 camps of holding the elections under the “1960 law.”

Last week, the country’s main Maronite political parties vowed not to submit their candidacies under the law in effect. Their decision came days after the Progressive Socialist Party announced its members would submit applications of candidates.

Baabda sources also said Saturday that during the parliamentary consultations to name the next prime minister, Sleiman stressed to lawmakers the needed to agree on a new electoral law given that he had constitutional duties he needed to abide by regarding the elections.

 

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